November 29, 2017
Who wouldn’t want to drive an SUV? These vehicles combine everything great about cars in one stellar package. In fact, SUVs seem to have found that magic combination of the right amount of performance, comfort, luxury, and fun.
Sadly, there’s usually one small problem—their price. SUVs can become quite pricey for the typical buyer, but this is the part where mini SUVs become an option. Even better, with their small size, these compact SUVs fit just about everywhere a sedan would.
If you’re looking for a compact SUV, 2017 is definitely a great year to buy. To prove it, we listed the best compact SUVs you can buy right now. So, are you ready to see how these mini SUVs compare? Then read along with us as we show you our four favorites.
2017 Honda CR-V—MSRP $24,045
When it comes to producing reliable cars, Honda always seems to deliver. The 2017 CR-V is no exception to the rule.
Starting off with performance, this mini SUV will get you where you want to go with no problems. Honda offers two different engine options here. The standard model ships with a 2.4-liter direct injected engine. Overall, it’ll give you 185 horsepower, which is fine for trips around town.
Those who opt for a trim upgrade will receive the 1.5-liter directed injected four-cylinder turbo. This option offers 190 hp. For a better reference, this is the same engine found in the Honda Civic hatchback, and we know that car offers some solid performance.
The big standout feature of this compact SUV is the legroom. Backseat passengers receive a full 40.4 inches of legroom, making this a pretty roomy back seat for even the tallest of passengers. If you’re looking for the most spacious compact SUV, this easily ranks among the top.
This SUV also provides quite a bit of cargo space. Starting off, you’ll get 39.2 cubic feet of cargo volume. Fold down the back seats and this number jumps to 75.8 cubic feet—great for hauling furniture.
If that’s still not enough, the 7.0-inch touch display offers all the latest infotainment, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to connect your mobile devices. You even get a USB port to charge your phone should the need ever arise during your trips.
Of course, all of this would mean nothing if the CR-V could not provide a safe drive. Thankfully, the NHTSA awarded the 2017 Honda CR-V with a 5-star overall safety rating—the highest grade possible. Even IIHS ranked this car as “good” across the board for safety features--again, the highest rank available.
2017 Mazda CX-5—MSRP 24,045
Contributing to the list of top compact SUVs is the Mazda CX-5. If you’re looking for a smooth and comfortable ride, this is the car for you!
Under the hood rests a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Overall, the performance is pretty solid here for getting you where you want to go. With 187 horsepower, the acceleration is decent. But the handling truly steals the show here, as this crossover SUV effortlessly glides around the tightest of corners.
If fuel efficiency is on your mind, the CX-5 gets about 31-highway mpg, which is pretty decent for an SUV of any size. So if you’re looking to save some money at the pump, this might just be the best mini SUV for you. Even better, Mazda announced plans to release a diesel option in the future for greater gas mileage.
Stepping inside the car, you’ll find a pretty comfortable ride. The steering wheel and pedals are ergonomically placed for a relaxing drive. The cabin also deadens outside noises for a peaceful and relaxing trip.
Even better, the cabin does look pretty suave and stylish with leather seats and wood accents throughout the inside.
If that’s not enough, the 30.9 cubic feet of cargo space will surely grab your attention. Upon lowering the back seats, this extends to 59.6 cubic feet. If you need to transport any type of luggage, this mini SUV can do it with no problems.
2018 GMC Terrain—MSRP Starting at: $24,995
For those looking for the best luxury compact SUV, GMC is here to deliver with its 2018 GMC Terrain.
Before we delve into the luxury features, let’s first take a look at the many engine options GMC offers.
The base engine is a turbocharged 4-cylinder that offers 170 horsepower. This is decent power for drives around town, and the 30 highway mpg will surely save you some money at the pump.
If you need a little more push, there is a 252-horsepower turbo four-cylinder model available. You’ll have no problem getting up and going in a compact SUV with that level of power. In fact, it’s one of the more powerful mini SUV engines you’ll find in today’s market!
If fuel economy is your main concern, then you’ll be happy to know that a turbodiesel powertrain engine is another option. At 39-highway mpg, you’ll be driving one of the most fuel-efficient compact SUVs on the market. Plus the 240 lb-ft torque allows for a strong performance as well in this model.
As we mentioned earlier, this compact SUV offers plenty of luxury features if you’re willing to pay a bit extra for them.
While the Terrain Denali trim may start at $37,520, the features you receive are well worth the price hike. For starters, you’ll get rear-parking sensors and cross traffic alerts for added safety. In terms of comfort, you can upgrade to automatic park assists, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, and wireless device charging. At the end of the day, this might be the top compact SUV when it comes to luxury features—especially at this price!
2017 Subaru Forester—MSRP starts at $22,795
Sometimes you don’t need a massive selection of flashy features to drive a great car. This is where the Subaru Forester comes into play. While it might not offer the fanciest bells and whistles, it does provide something of value—safety. In fact, the 2017 Forester easily ranks as one of the safest mini SUVs you can buy in today’s market.
NHTSA awarded the Forester a full 5-star overall safety rating. IIHS even ranked the safety as “good” across the board. But how is this car so safe?
As a standard feature, Subaru offers a rearview camera. For those opting for more safety features, the EyeSight safety system is the package for you. This offers all the modern safety features you could ever need, including lane departure warnings, lane keeping assists, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert, and pre-collision braking. Try finding another compact SUV with this many safety features! And for those of you wondering—yes, these safety features really do work.
Great safety does not mean you’re sacrificing comfort or performance. The 2017 Forester offers a full 34-cubic feet of cargo space. Not enough? Then fold the seats down for 75-cubic feet of space. This is one of the most spacious compact SUVs you’ll find today!Moving to the engine, you’ll get two options here. One is a 170 horsepower four-cylinder motor. For those looking for some extra “oomph” to their performance, you can upgrade to a 250 horsepower turbo four-cylinder motor. This is one of the most powerful engines you’ll find in a mini SUV. So if you like the extra acceleration and speed, don’t overlook this option.